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Georgia Garcia

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988
  • M.S., Education, State University of New York, Cortland, 1977
  • A.B., Sociology, Occidental College, Los Angeles, 1968

Key Professional Appointments

  • Professor, Curriculum & Instruction, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001-present
  • Faculty Affiliate, Latina/o Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997-present
  • Zero-time appointment, Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1993-present
  • Associate Professor, Curriculum & Instruction, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1995-2001
  • Assistant Professor, Curriculum & Instruction, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1989-1995
  • Senior Research Scientist, Center for the Study of Reading, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988-1994

Activities & Honors

  • Member of Senior ETS Senior Advisory English Language Learner Panel, Educational Testing Service, 2011-present
  • Editorial Board Member, International Reading Association, 1994-present
  • Associate Editor, AERJ-TLHD section, AERJ-TLHD section, American Educational Research Association, 2010-2012
  • Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, College of Education, 2010
  • University Scholar, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003-2006
  • Member, National Literacy Panel on language minority students, Institute of Education Sciences, 2002-2004
  • Member, Reading Study Group on Skillful Reading, RAND, 2000-
  • Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching, Honorable Mention, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2000
  • Elected Member, Board of Directors, National Reading Conference, 1998-2000
  • Distinguished Scholar Award, College of Education, 1997

Research Statement

My current research focuses on the literacy instruction and assessment of students (preschool-8) from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, with a special interest in bilingual students' reading and writing. Currently I am investigating how assessment and instructional reform efforts, such as the Common Core State Standards and formative assessments, affect the reading and writing instruction and performance of bilingual students. I also am studying how well professional staff development from a socio-cultural perspective helps K-8 teachers address instructional and assessment reforms and make related changes in their classroom instruction.

Recently, I have been very involved in the establishment of a Dual Language Program (Spanish-English) in the Urbana School District.


  • Principal Investigator, A Comprehensive Approach to Improve the Preparation of University Faculty, Pre-service and In-service Teachers to Effectively Teach Limited English Proficient Students, U.S. Department of Education, 2007-2013
  • Principal Investigator, Instruction of Reading Comprehension: Cognitive Strategies or Cognitive Engagement, Institute of Education Sciences, 2003-2007
  • Co-Principal Investigator, Teachers for the 21st Century: Recruiting, Mentoring & Placing Culturally Diverse Teachers, U.S. Department of Education, 1996-1999

Select Publications

  • Bezdicek, J., García, G., Garcia, G. (2012). Working with preschool English language learners: A sociocultural approach. Teachers’ roles in second language learning: Classroom applications of sociocultural theory. Information Age Publishing: Charlotte, NC.
  • Camlibel, Z., Garcia, G. (2012). Zehra's story: Becoming biliterate in Turkish and English. Early biliteracy development: Exploring young learners' use of their linguistic resources. Routledge: New York, NY.
  • García, G., Pearson, P., Taylor, B., Bauer, E., Stahl, K., Garcia, G. (2011). Socio-constructivist and political views on teachers’ implementation of two types of reading comprehension approaches in low-income schools. Theory into Practice, 50(2), 149-156.
  • Garcia, G., Bauer, E. (2009). Assessing student progress in the time of No Child Left Behind. Handbook of research on literacy and diversity. Guilford Publications: NY.
  • García, G., McKoon, G., August, D., Garcia, G. (2008). Language and literacy assessment. Developing reading and writing in second language learners: Lessons from the report of the National Literacy Panel on language minority Children and youth. Routledge, Center for Applied Linguistics, and the International Reading Association: NY.
  • Garcia, G., Bray, T., Mora, R., Primeaux, J., Ricklef, M., Engel, L., al, e. (2006). Working with teachers to change the literacy instruction of Latino students in urban schools. National Reading Conference Yearbook, 55, 155-170.
  • García, G., McKoon, G., August, D., Garcia, G. (2006). Language and literacy assessment of language-minority students. Developing literacy in second-language learners: Report of the national literacy panel on language-minority children and youth. Lawrence Erlbaum: Mahwah, NJ.
  • McCarthey, S., Garcia, G. (2005). English language learners' writing practices and attitudes. Written Communication, 22(1), 36-75.
  • Garcia, G. (2003). Multicultural issues in literacy research and practice. Erlbaum: Mahwah, NJ.
  • García, G., Garcia, G. (2003). Introduction: Giving voice to multicultural literacy research and practice. Multicultural issues in literacy research and practice. Erlbaum: Mahwah, NJ.
  • Bauer, E., García, G., Garcia, G. (2002). Lessons from a classroom teacher's use of alternative literacy assessment. Research in the Teaching of English, 36(4), 462-494.
  • García, G., Willis, A., Garcia, G. (2001). Frameworks for understanding multicultural literacies. Reconceptualizing literacy in the age of pluralism and multi-culturalism. Erlbaum: Mahwah, NJ.
  • García, G., Garcia, G. (2001). A theoretical discussion of young bilingual children's reading (Preschool - Grade 3). National Reading Conference Yearbook, 50.
  • García, G., Garcia, G. (2000). Bilingual children's reading. Handbook of reading research, 3. Erlbaum: Mahwah, NJ.
  • Tsai, M., García, G., Garcia, G. (2000). Who's the boss: How communicative competence is defined in a multilingual, preschool classroom. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 31(2), 230-252.
  • García, G., Garcia, G. (1998). Mexican-American bilingual students' metacognitive reading strategies: What's transferred, unique, problematic? National Reading Conference Yearbook, 47, 253-263.

In The News

Learning in English, aprendiendo en Español: Professor helps create a K-5 dual language program in local elementary schools

Aug. 1, 2013

When 5-year-old Garrett started kindergarten at Leal Elementary School in Urbana, he learned the usual kindergarten tasks: reading simple sentences, following class rules, socializing with his peers, and other skills appropriate for his age and grade level. Read more...